Grant funded research helps protect national security

Goodman cres

University of Adelaide scientists working on projects that will ensure Australia’s security have been awarded grants from the Australian government to continue their cutting-edge research.

Professor Dusan Losic and Dr Tung Tran, who are from the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, have received $597,791 under the National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants (NISDRG) program to undertake the project: Development of Wearable Wireless Sensors for Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) Detection.

“We are developing technology that will keep the 21st century soldier safe in whatever environment they are deployed,” said Professor Dusan Losic, University of Adelaide.

“Wearable sensors will warn soldiers of potential threats, both visible and invisible, such as deadly chemical warfare agents (CWAs).

“Using new platform technology, thanks to the exceptional properties of graphene, 2D materials and printing technologies, it is possible to design sensing devices for rapid detection of low-concentrations of CWA and other toxic chemicals in the environment.”

Graphene is a two-dimensional material with superior conductivity, flexibility and strength. It can be used to enhance existing products as well as producing entirely new ones.

“Research undertaken by University of Adelaide scientists under the NISDRG program plays a crucial role in strengthening a prosperous, secure and cohesive Australia.”Professor Michael Webb

Under the Intelligence Challenges stream of the NISDRG program Professor Debi Ashenden from the School of Computer Science has been awarded $542,482 to pursue the project: Defending Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) across the Human-Machine Interface.

“We will generate new knowledge in the areas of computer security and human-computer interaction by bringing together social and behavioural science, computer science, and data science,” said Professor Ashenden.

“Models of the behavioural risks associated with the human-machine interactions associated with machine learning operations will lead to increased trust in these processes.”

A total of ten grants were awarded to universities nationally. The University of Adelaide received a total of $1,140,273 in funding which was the largest amount awarded to any university.

“Science and technology will support national security capabilities in an era of significant change which is unprecedented in scale and pace,” said the University of Adelaide’s Professor Michael Webb, Director of the Defence and Security Institute (DSI) and Academic Coordinator for Defence, Cyber and Space.

“Research undertaken by University of Adelaide scientists under the NISDRG program plays a crucial role in strengthening a prosperous, secure and cohesive Australia.”

The NISDRG program supports excellent research that deepens understanding of emerging science and technology and addresses intelligence and national security interests. The program facilitates innovation and develops national security and intelligence capacity.

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